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A Time in Arabia: Living in Yemen's Hadhramant in the 1930s

Doreen Ingrams and her husband were the first Europeans ever to live in the Hadhramaut, an extraordinary, isolated region of southern Arabia. Married to an Arabic-speaking British official, she arrived by boat, and during their ten-year residency travelled throughout the region by camel and donkey. Doreen kept a diary in which she detailed their adventures and described her unequalled access to the domestic quarters, to the women and children, the food, the scents, secrets, jewels and privileges of this extraordinarily rich traditional society. "A Time in Arabia" is a precious document - part history, part time-travel, seen through the eyes of a decent, modest and compassionate woman.

Doreen Ingrams (1906-1997) was a highly unconventional historian. The youngest child of a Liberal Home Secretary, she ran away from home to become an actress. After six fulfilling yeatrs of Shakespearean leads, she fell in love with young colonial official. Bored rigid by the society of other colonial administrators in Mauritius, Zanzibar and Yemen, she survived by immersing herself in the languages, politics and cultures around her, educating herself like those other pioneering, female, scholar-travellers of the Middle East. She and her equally distinguished husband, Harold Ingrams, were jointly awarded gold medals by the Royal Geographical Society, The Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Central Asian Society.

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